Isn't it interesting to learn from the obstacles you've overcome?
Born in the late 80’s, my parents never married and didn't stay together. My siblings and I witnessed our mom's dysfunctional relationships and the abuse she endured by her male friends. Seeing this left an emotional scar on us. Due to mom's instability, my siblings and I bounced from one unfortunate foster care home to another during our adolescent years. Many times we ran away from our mom's home or from the foster care home.
As a young Black male growing up without a positive role model, I sought out life answers from my mother. I soon realized that she couldn't answer all of my questions. From there I turned to the only other men I knew; the ones who were living the fast life in the 'streets'.
It seemed like my only choice was to take on the behavior of those men and their surroundings.
I continued trying to make a living it the streets when I arrived in Minneapolis during my teens. Eventually, I was adjudicated by the juvenile county services. I spent eighteen months at an adolescent treatment facility.
It was the best thing to happen to me during that time of my life.
It was there that I met the Black male role model that I needed. Seeing him and his spouse work with the youth at the facility gave me hope. They were the first Black people I knew who had an honest business. They dedicated their lives to helping young black boys and girls.
I had no idea what was in store for me as I developed a relationship with the first positive Black male role model in my life.
Who was your first role model?
What do you remember most from that relationship?